Live Review: Slow Club

30 Sep

Audio: Thursday, September 2011.

Whoa – what’s happened here?

Two years ago Slow Club were a duo peddling a fine line in bitter-sweet folk-pop loveliness, with their cute boy / girl vocals and penchant for using chairs and bottles as percussion instruments just about staying on the right side of twee.

Now their ramshackle approach and endearing kookiness has been battered into touch and replaced by a steely sense of purpose and altogether brasher sound. As a live spectacle, it’s all the better for it.

Beefed-up to a four-piece to play many of the tracks off new album Paradise,
they unleashed three-way vocals, throbbing rhythms and unexpectedly intense crescendos, all propelled by quirky pop sensibilities and a dollop of Northern panache.

No longer constrained by always having to play drums and percussion, Rebecca Taylor is now a more conventional frontwoman. And there’s no holding her back.

Her confidence and stage presence has been ramped-up while the new songs allow her stronger vocals to take control.

Apart from Charles Watson’s mumbling introductions, the odd fit of giggles and their humorous jibes at each other, you’re hard pressed to believe this is the same band which made it’s name with understated, off-the wall gems.
Not that anyone’s complaining – it’s a revelation.

Even Giving Up On Love from debut Yeah So was given a greater sense of urgency during the encore as the two of them rapidly rattled through the sixties-style, bop along number like it was first time they’d played it in months, even though this was the last night of the tour.

Slow Club have clearly picked up the pace. Can you keep up?

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